The tick-tock week is over in Geneva. It feels a bit like after a Prince concert at the Sziget Festival – the sounds are lost in your head for days not finding their way out. But both the tick-tocks and the nice tunes are precious melodies to my ears, I don’t mind cherishing them for a little longer.
This was my first Geneva Time Exhibition and Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie topped up with an exclusive exhibition from Bovet. Hundreds of watches with the finest dials, hands and movements have started their worldwide career just now.
Beyond the breathtaking craftwork I amused myself by looking at the faces of the individuals thought the week. From watchmakers to collectors, journalists and enthusiasts I found the same expression of emotion – smiles all around. Some of them wider, others more reserved. Some louder, others only visible in the eye. Nevertheless, people seemed to enjoy what they saw, heard and experienced and they all felt that this was the right bunch – the right watches, the right companies, the right people.
There are many reasons to be optimistic, indeed. The revival of handcrafts and highly precise movements is uninterrupted. An increasing number of people are touched by the artistic beauty, the technical perfection and the moral value of these timepieces, which is well measured by the increasing sales numbers worldwide. In the past few years annual watch industry reports have confirmed that the sector has grown from previous year and the outlooks are even better. In an interview to TheWatches.tv on SIHH, Jean-Daniel Pasche, President of the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry stated the same in regards to a record 2012 and an even more promising 2013.
If one reveals that there are two exhibitions in the same city at the same time on the same topic – an outsider probably starts thinking what possible sense could that make. Again, the Swiss have an extremely good sense for balance, and the GTE and SIHH more complementary than competitive events. Together they paint a more complete and accurate picture about the international (aka Swiss) haute horlogerie. SIHH, taking place in the Palexpo hall, is the elite club of houses with larger volumes and teams and with wider portfolio of collections. It is a more formal event with formal people, no doubt. GTE on the other hand, which is hosted in the old factory building of Bâtiment des Forces Motrices, is the “luxury underground” watchmaking event – in the most positive meaning of the word. Companies tend to be smaller and it provides an introduction platform for independent watchmakers, too.
Few other watchmakers choose to organize private events to present their novelties. I was lucky enough to participate the Bovet exhibition in the historic Beau Rivage Hotel.
All three shows share the passion for watch making, the technical and artistic professionalism and there’s a big overlap between the audiences.
Photo credits: Loupiosity.com.
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